1) There are supportive and fun Yoga classes out there, with people who are friendly and don’t judge you, so if you aren’t feeling that from your Yoga studio or gym, I hope you know you deserve better.
2) Please, please don’t wear perfume to Yoga-it gives people around you a terrible headache. In fact, if possible, take a shower before yoga (whether you wear perfume or not). Reason being that Yoga is a time for you to connect with you and your body-an experience that is more pleasant and positive when you are clean and fresh.
3) Men, listen here, we ladies have to wear a sports bra in Yoga and we would appreciate it if you wore something that kept everything tucked in and put together as well, you know? My husband wears swim trunks which have the netting inside-that is perfect! Trust me, this is a necessity. I have seen more balls in Yoga than I care to admit.
4) See - about quitting smoking - don’t worry, Yoga will help. Being a part time yogi part time smoker just doesn’t go together. For one thing, you stink. Bad. Even if you take a shower first. You see, when you sweat, that tar and yuckiness comes out of your pores, bringing out a strong odor. Not to mention, you will feel sick like a dog because you will be feeling the after effects of many cigarettes at once. This is actually why Yoga will help you to quit smoking, you will detox faster, ridding you of the nicotine which you are addicted too. I know about this from personal experience, as Yoga was the driving force behind me quitting my pack and a half a day habit over 7 years a go. Who-hoo! You can do it too.
5) Once you have fallen in love with your Yoga practice, invest in a quality mat. Really, this will make all of the difference in your Down Dogs for one thing. Your knees will no longer hurt in Camel and Lunges, you won’t slide and slip, it will be great. My friends and I rock the Manduka mats, which I think they are the best. Plus, Manduka recognizes an organization or individual each month for sharing the gift of yoga with those in need by donating Yoga gear to support their cause, which is super cool. J
6) Ladies, loose the panties. Panties only create a wet, hot mess in Yoga. Be free! Enjoy the breeze and go bare! You will be so glad you did. The only thing worse than wearing panties in Yoga to me, is wearing a thong. There is a strict “No Suffering” rule in Yoga so I am using that as my back up as I ask to be sure your thongs have heard their last “OM.”
7) Remember that each body has a different story, every day. So comparing yourself to the student next to you will do you no good. Remembering this will help you enjoy your practice much more and be fully in your own experience.
8) There are MANY different styles and schools of Yoga. If you find a Yoga class that doesn’t blend with you, don’t give up on your Yoga, just keep looking for the right fit, it will be worth the hunt.
9) Respect the “post Yoga high.” For example, walking up to the lady who’s son is in your daughters Third grade class after class and asking her, “What are you bringing for the pot luck?” (or something like that) is so not cool. You see, we spend over an hour trying to distress, clear the mind of racket and feel good. You taking someone out of that moment/feeling to talk about work/kids/scheduling/emails is a total drag. As in, “you make my high come down.” Rather, just enjoy the peaceful feeling your practice gives you and be present.
10) Remember, you do not have to be flexible or have good balance to practice Yoga! Yoga will help you develop those traits over time, promise.
*BONUS* It is totally OK to go to Yoga to meet a man/woman. Actually, in my opinion, it is one of the best places to meet someone! A room full of happy, healthy, open friendly people, yes please! (Oh look, another reason to take a shower before Yoga.) ;)